Monday, March 28, 2011

Week two of Hyperfitness

Well, I am on week two of the book "Hyperfitness".  The workout is eating my lunch.  I got up at 5am this morning and went through the M/W/F workout and it was a killer.  I felt like I was carrying a pile of lead weights through the entire workout.  I felt great once I was done but getting done was a chore and a half.

It has been too long since I have worked on my cardiovascular health.  Far too long.

Anyway, I am going to keep at it.  I think I may do the first two week routine for an extra week or two just to get to more comfortable with the work out.  Then I may switch to the week three/four set.  I will definitely be adding some of these workouts to my martial arts classes.  Some tough stuff. 

Thanks Sean Burch for your work on this book.  It is amazing, even if I am not real fond of you at 5am every Monday through Friday.

Friday, March 25, 2011

What is Black Belt to me?

Well, this seems to be one of those questions that has no real answer so I have decided to define what I think makes someone a Black Belt, at least for my school. 
  • Capable of self teaching (Teaching the Martial Arts by Lawrence Kane)
  • Essential understanding of:  (Rory Miller and Marc MacYoung are great sources of information here)
    • Violence
    • Basics of self defense (outside of actually fighting, things like conflict communications and awareness.)
  • Strategy and Tactics of chosen martial arts style (The Way of Kata by K. Wilder and L. Kane, Bunkai Jutsu by Iain Abernethy)
  • Basic understanding of proper fitness practices (Flexibility, strength, and endurance training)
  • Cursory understanding of how all martial arts function.  (Very basic knowledge in the areas of Physics, Kinesiology, Anatomy, etc...)
This is what I want from my students.   I am working on putting together the resources to make sure that all my students have this information.  I have a required reading list that has proven to be very helpful to my more committed students.  I do not think that walking away from my school should be the equal of a college degree.  However, to walk away from any school without notes and books to read when there is so much valuable information out there is irresponsible, in my opinion. 

Training this way should make us better students in all subject areas.  Getting to black belt does not instantly make us magical.  It does not give us the ability to walk on walls and such.  Nor should it make us dumber by allowing us to ignore common sense.  This kind of training prepares us to be a self guided student.

Ideally I would like for my students to walk into any school in the world and be able to analyze what they see and understand.  Again not magically be able to replicate it but just understand it.  With a basic understanding of how techniques work I also hope that when faced with violence the student will be capable of adapting to the situation without much down time.  To give them the tools to be creative and not just spit out what they have been taught only.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A new workout routine: Hyperfitness by Sean Burch

I started a new exercise routine I found in a book called Hyperfitness.  I didn't have time to get through the entire workout before it was time to teach class but I got through half of it.  Wow!  That was rough!  I am following the beginner track, what Sean calls Trekker.  I can only imagine what my fitness level is going to be once I complete the advanced track, called Sherpa.

Sean apparently as ascended Mount Everest and these are some of the exercises he has used to get into the shape he needed to do just that...

Sean does a great job of also covering the basics of nutrition and the motivations needed to be successful.  Some good stories and a obvious love for the work, this book is pretty cool.  I am on week one so I will be sure to post my results as I proceed. 

Also, about 3 weeks ago I started at about 265 lbs.  I went skiing last week and have been watching my caloric intake.  I weighted in last night and I am at 253.6.  Not bad in three weeks.  Little fast but I am certain that a good part of that is also water weight.

This guy loves Squats!  I need to build my legs strength back up anyway so I am excited to get through the first 12 weeks so that I can check out my progress. 

Wish me luck.  I am going to need it. 


Friday, March 11, 2011

Amazing 3 Dimensional Sound

Some guys at work told me about this and I finally listened to it this week.  It is an AMAZING example of sound in three dimensions!  Give it a try and if you are interested look at the second link for an article on the technology.  Get a pair of headphones and plug them into your computer before listening. 

Good stuff!

Listen to this: (Headphones and eyes closed required)
If you want to know more take a look at this link:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I recently found myself carrying all my tension around with me.  I carry mine in my shoulders and in my chest.  Not good.  I discovered I was doing this when I went to visit my doctor for my annual check up and realized before the doc came in to check me that I was practically holding my breath.  Now I work in a hospital so doctor offices do not cause me any stress.  I do not care one way or the other about needles so that wasn't it.

However, I have a lot of other things in my life right now that are very stressful right now.  I have two major projects that are both in a hurry up and wait state.  I do not like things that leave me with a sense of incompleteness.  On going projects are fine but these are projects that require a major life transition and I feel like I am not making progress the way I would like, thus, the stress.

Sitting in the exam room I took several deep breaths and calmed myself.  Forgot about what I needed to do for the day.  Got rid of the lists and the tasks and the hurry.  And I especially got rid of the "wait".  Deep breath.

I did not stop thinking about everything I narrowed my thoughts to one thing.  At first my breathing and then a single topic that makes me happy.  First was the visualization I use to get away from things.  A secret place hidden away in my mind.  I used it a long time ago when I was a teenager and had trouble at home.  It is a very calming scene.  After a little bit I started thinking about some martial arts training I have been working on lately.  Again, it was relaxing to me.

By the time the nurse came in to get my vitals my blood pressure was down to 106/68.  Lower then I have had my BP in quite a while.  I have been working out more and I have been trying to eat better but this was a pretty good number for me still.

If nothing else, this exercise reminded me that a little time spent in meditation or prayer can help separate us from all the stress of the day to day.   That sometimes it is needed and not just something we should do every once in a while.  Time in prayer can also serve this purpose, and in fact, might even be better if you believe in that sort of thing.  Just relax, breath deep, and listen. 

Give it a try.